As you probably know, food safety is of utmost importance if your business is in any way part of the food industry. What many people don’t know is that a microbiology food testing laboratory plays a significant role in ensuring that you are compliant with food safety regulations.
The problem is that the idea of a microbiology lab is foreign to most people, and therefore it scares people from following through with microbiology lab food testing. We hope to ease your mind, clear up your queries, and give you all the information you need in this article.
What is a microbiology lab?
A microbiology lab is not as intimidating as it sounds. Essentially, it is place where your food products can be scientifically tested.
At the lab, various tests can be carried out. AssureCloud’s lab offers a wide variety of services for microbiological testing of swabs, water samples for all the major pathogenic, indicator, and spoilage microorganisms. It can analyse your food to find bacteria, pathogens, viruses, allergens, and animal DNA.
Types of tests
There are several methods that exist for finding dangerous microorganisms in your food products. However, the three most common types of tests are:
- Polymerase chain reaction – it takes up to two days to attain results from this test.
- Culture media – this method can take up to a week before you get results.
- Immunoassay – it takes a day or two to get results from this test.
Why do microbiology lab food testing?
To ensure that your food product is safe for consumption, microbiology lab food testing is a must. The aim of these tests is to detect and quantify pathogenic microorganisms. If these pathogens are allowed to remain in your food product, it can result in the spread of foodborne diseases. This would be bad for public health, and for your business’s reputation.
By allowing accredited providers of food and occupational health and safety testing to analyse your food products, you set yourself up for success. After the tests are completed, you’ll know if there were any specific risk factors found in your products. In addition, you’ll have confirmation that you have followed the required regulations and met specifications and the product is safe to consume .
The importance of pathogen testing
It’s important to test your food for all microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses for example. But, one of the most important microorganisms that you need to test for is pathogens. Many shy away from this specific test, as it can be slightly costly. However, the price that you pay is worth all the complications that you can avoid by doing the test.
For example, the 2017-2018 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa was caused by a pathogen called listeria monocytogenes. This foodborne disease caused the death of over 180 people, and affected many more. While this may be an extreme example, it could happen if your products do not go through thorough testing for pathogens.
Pathogenic salmonellae is another reason to carry out a pathogen test on your products. If this is ingested in food, it can cause diarrhoea, ulcers, and can destroy the musosa in intestines. Rather than cause this kind of trouble, it’s best to do microbiology food testing on your products.
Microbiology lab food testing does not give you a complete guarantee that your product is safe for consumption. However, it is a key step in the process of food safety. If you don’t complete this step in the food safety process, you may risk spreading foodborne diseases. To ensure that your product is good to go, contact us for more information.